Sardinia to lead Italy's digital switchover

Island will get a two-year head start on changeover

ROME -- The island of Sardinia will be the first part of Italy to make the switch entirely to digital television frequencies, with the changeover expected to take place Nov. 1 -- more than two years before most of the rest of Italy will begin the transition.

About one in 10 television sets on the island are still not equipped to receive digital transmissions. Owners of those sets will have six weeks to acquire more modern televisions or they will have to go without television.

Sardinia is one of Italy's poorest regions, but it has been a leader in the switch to digital frequencies, which must take place on the national level before the end of 2010.